When I read Mary Lahammer’s MinnPost post, one of the first questions I had was whether Rep. Ryan Winkler’s schtick is spin or ignorance. Here’s the context:

After Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill to require photo identification to vote, Republican lawmakers plan to put the issue on the ballot. Constitutional amendments don’t need the governor’s signature to go directly to Minnesota voters. Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) said “The legislation has overwhelming public support especially among our younger voters and women. Clearly this is what Minnesota wants.” State Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) is the co-author of the bill that would put a voter ID question on the 2012 ballot.

A recent poll showed overwhelming support:

Age demographics – The lowest level of support in age groups comes from seniors, who back voter ID 69/23. The best support comes, surprisingly, from the youngest voters (18-34YOs) at 82/12.
Party affiliation – Yes, 92% of Republicans support voter ID. So do 76% of independents … and 59% of those wingnutty Democrats in Minnesota, too. Among Tea Party “members,” voter ID enjoys 93% support. And for those who don’t identify with the Tea Party, support plummets all the way to … 74%. Along ideological lines, liberals were least likely to support it — at 67%, the second-lowest level of support among all demographics.
Education – Surely, support must be coming from the mouthbreathers, right? High-school graduates give a 79% level of support, almost the same as the 78% among those with some college education. Those with degrees are a little more discerning … at 75%.
Income level – It won’t be much of a surprise to know that those making six figures support voter ID 73/25. It will be a surprise to Dayton to find that those making less than $50K per year support it even more, 78/14.
Region – Like all of the other demographics, there isn’t much difference between the Twin Cities demo (76/19) and the rural area of western Minnesota (81/15). In each region, support is at 75% or higher.

This is wildly popular across the state and with every demographic group imaginable. This is a no-brainer for non-politicians. Here’s what Rep. Winkler said in reaction to the constitutional question legislation:

“And just like the anti-marriage amendment, they want to change our state’s constitution just to restrict basic rights of Minnesotans. This helps not one Minnesota family. Worse, it is a counterproductive distraction to resolving our budget deficit when time is of the essence.”

The last I checked, neither Rep. Kiffmeyer nor Sen. Newman are part of the budget negotiations. That begs the question of how Rep. Kiffmeyer’s and Sen. Newman’s press conference distracts from anything happening in St. Paul.

As for Rep. Winkler’s claim that this proposed constitutional amendment will restrict Minnesotans’ basic rights, this is part of the DFL’s talking points.

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